Patchen Markell F'07

Patchen  Markell
Associate Professor
Political Science
Cornell University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2007
Associate Professor
Political Science
University of Chicago
The Architecture of "The Human Condition"

This project is the first book-length study of Hannah Arendt's classic work of political theory, The Human Condition. Focusing on the conceptual architecture of the book, and especially on the relation of autonomous political action to other domains of human activity, it shows how the logic of her own argument compels her to rethink the nature and function of Arendt’s conceptual distinctions as she proceeds, shifting from an approach devoted to the separation of human activities from each other toward one focused on the articulation of relationships of interdependence between them. At the same time, it sets Arendt into a range of different contexts, showing in particular how her work is tied both historically and thematically to ongoing disputes about the relative importance of autonomy and social relevance among twentieth-century artistic avant-gardes.